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Media Contact: Holly Korschun 11 November 2004    
  (404) 727-3990   Print  | Email ]

Emory and Children's Healthcare Dedicate New Mason Chair for Liver Transplantation
Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta have dedicated a new endowed faculty chair in liver transplantation that will help ensure access to care for all Georgians in need of liver transplantation.

The Carlos & Marguerite Mason Chair in Surgery for Liver Transplantation was created through an award of $2 million from Wachovia Bank, N.A., Trustee for the Carlos & Marguerite Mason Trust. Thomas G. Heffron, MD, director of Adult Liver Transplantation at Emory University Hospital and program director of Pediatric and Living-Related Liver Transplantation at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, will hold the new Mason Chair.

Dr. Heffron and the liver transplant teams at Children's and Emory have provided groundbreaking national leadership in pediatric, living-donor and split-liver transplants. The team performed Georgia's first living-related liver transplant, in which part of a living donor's liver is given to a patient recipient. They performed Georgia's first split-liver transplant in 1997 and helped perfect this technique, in which a single deceased donor organ is used for two different organ recipients. These techniques have increased the number of organs available for children in need of liver transplants, meaning a shorter waiting period and lower mortality.

"This unique gift in support of liver transplantation, shared by Emory and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, will solidify the important partnership among our two institutions and facilitate Dr. Heffron's work in both organizations," said Christian P. Larsen, MD, DPhil, the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Professor of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine and Director of the Emory Transplant Center. "It will leave an indelible mark on both our institutions and on the entire State. One of the greatest barriers to transplantation today is the availability of organs. Living-donor and split-liver transplants provide methods of increasing the supply of donor organs, making transplantation available to more Georgians."

"This chair truly exemplifies the collaboration that exists between Children's and Emory, and our common goal to have the premier pediatric liver transplantation program in the country," added Jay E. Berkelhamer, MD, senior vice president, Medical Affairs, Children's. "It is a testimony to Dr. Heffron, his leadership and his surgical skills, which assure the success of this program and offer hope to children and families."

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